Fashion Nightmares: Marvel Universe 2

As long as I'm resurrecting old series this week, howzabout I take a look in the old superhuman closet for What Not to Wear to a Crossover? yes, Fashion Nightmares returns, this time with our second look at Marvel's bad choices from way back in Marvel Universe Deluxe #2, January 1986 (Beast to Clea).

I've got to say, there are a couple of classic costumes in this issue, including Captain America's, Black Panther's and Beta Ray Bill's. These are pretty unimpeachable (yes, even Bill's). Of course, there are also some characters in rags, like Caliban and Callisto, and the odd Xavier's School uniform, but these have nothing to do with the character's judgment. No, a bad fashion choice is when you CHOOSE to dress like a giant chicken. Enter: Black Talon.Sure, sure, there's a definite voodoo feel coming from that look (like somebody just put needles in my little doll's eyes, actually), but that's not how you dress for voodoo. THIS is how you dress for voodoo:
Who's that voodoo sex machine to all the chicks? Brother Voodoo!

Sometimes, the whole thing makes you look like a fool:
Captain Ultra looks like he walked out of the Crayola factory this morning, but even in black and white (THANK YOU, Essential Defenders!), he's still got to explain the metal codpiece and turtleneck.

Black Tom is another character with grave problems.
He's an X-Men villain with the mutant power to shoot flames from a wooden staff (he's Irish, you see, how so very celtic). So why's he dressing like a vampire? That high, pointy collar. That stylized bat logo. Dracula's facial hair. And he's not helping matters with the stretch-fabric Vegas act shirt or the "hit me here" belt buckle.

Sometimes though, it's in how you accessorize:
The Black Crow has a perfectly serviceable American Native hero look (i.e. he dresses like he was never "civilized"), but he has to ruin it with a goggle-eyed helmet. Black Crow, not Black FLY. Another example:
Sebastian Shaw, the Hellfire Club's Black King, also dresses retro, and that would be fine except for the pretty pink bows in his muttonchops. It could be worse, of course. The have his female analogue, Selene the Black Queen, dress in S&M attire:
Proving once again that the Comics Code Authority was pure bollocks. And one last example of accessorizing gone bad:
Blacklash! Went a bit Buck Rogers on the gloves and boots, but really, it's the green plume that does it. Or undoes it. Why even dress in camo-black if you're going to advertise yourself to Iron Man from the ground that way?

The most mystifying fashion questions, however, have to do with people exchanging their perfectly good costumes for bad ones. Take the case of the Black Widow. Though slightly non-descript, her slinky black outfit is sexy in that Bond girl way.
I see nothing wrong with it whatsoever.

So why this new look?
The case could be made that this catsuit is even plainer (and gray, not black). Sure, she gains a spider-logo, but it's positioned sexually (as opposed to sexily). But most of all, it's that middle aged socialite's haircut, complete with dangling earrings, that ruins the Widow's look. More recent looks have, in fact, done away with it.
So it's without hesitation that I nominate the Natalia Romanova for Worst Makeover of the Week.

BONUS: KIRBY FASHIONS!


As I've been known to say before, Jack Kirby's cosmic fashions are damn near criticism-proof. They have a pure comic aesthetic that by and large read as good. But there are limits. If we look, for example, at Kirby Giants like the Celestials, why does Arishem the Judge "work", despite having a beer stein for a head?
But Ziran the Tester does not?
Short answer: Color. (Is that even Kirby's fault?) So make sure you match when you get dressed tomorrow. Everyone'll be watching.

4 comments:

De said...

For some reason, I find myself liking the Black Queen's costume. Not sure why.

Teebore said...

Me too, and I know exactly why ;)

googum said...

Black Talon made an appearance in Deadpool, the highlight of which was Pool (and Talon's own zombies) laughing at that costume for an entire page.

And while Blacklash's costume is terrible, it's still better than the leather fetishist gimp zipper mask, and he got killed in that one!

LiamKav said...

The artist for the Black Queen seems to be under the idea that women might actually have hips, and even some potential fat deposits in those areas. Has he not been looking at the same women all his fellow artists have apparently been using for body models?

 

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